Egypt

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Egypt

Post by halfwise on Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:54 am

http://news.yahoo.com/egypts-army-ousts-morsi-calls-coup-010531275.html

Not sure what to say. Though I'm glad to see the back of an Islamist regime, I have no idea how this will play out, no basis for judgement.

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Re: Egypt

Post by Eldorion on Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:12 am

AP via Yahoo wrote:Beyond the fears over violence, some protesters are concerned whether an army-installed administration can lead to real democracy.

What about the President who was chosen in free and open elections?  Did he count as democratic?  I'd bet a lot of people would say no.

Don't get me wrong, but I'm no fan of Morsi, but anyone who expects a Western-style democracy to just pop up in a country with little or no prior history of political liberalization is kidding themselves.  People like Morsi will (almost) always win these sort of elections because Western-style liberal democracy is not ingrained a public virtue; other things are. People who want Egypt to become Western should be pushing for reforms other than electoral democracy in the short to medium term.

Speaking generally here, it's a good idea to combat corruption in the bureaucratic and legal professions by increasing pay for public servants, to establish secular courts that respect the rights of religious minorities (or at least, don't treat them any worse than the religious majority), and focus on modernizing and then opening up the economy. The problem is, these reforms require a strongman or oligarchic party to push them through until they start to achieve results and become popular with society as a whole. Only then does the political system start to open up and become more democratic in the Western sense of the word (see also: South Korea, Taiwan).
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Re: Egypt

Post by halfwise on Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:30 am

Read Amy Chua's World on Fire. She's now famous for being the "Tiger Mom", but should be remembered for her thesis that in many cases democracy leads to instability. Democracy is more a final product of social stability, not a cause. Unfortunately nobody notified W Bush.

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Re: Egypt

Post by Eldorion on Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:42 am

I haven't read that book, but I think it's a fairly uncontroversial idea in contemporary political science. Unfortunately it has yet to catch on in broader political discourse.
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Re: Egypt

Post by halfwise on Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:20 am

I don't know if she was ahead of the wave or rode it. I get the impression she was on the forefront.

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Re: Egypt

Post by Eldorion on Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:24 am

I don't know either, but based on the publication date of the book (according to Wikipedia: 2002) I suspect that she was an early proponent of that idea.  There wasn't a lot of questioning of democracy going on during the Cold War, and in a lot of ways Amercan political science is still trying to move past the side-taking that took place during that time.
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